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Sing Your Song - Movie Review - 2011

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating


A Documentary Profile of Harry Belafonte

Filmmaker Susanne Rostock's documentary profile presents 3a comprehensive look at the career of the beloved and highly respected singer and social activist in what is both a biography and tribute film.

For people who only know of Harry Belafonte as a superb crooner and entertainer, the film's chronicling of his important contributions to the causes of social justice will come as an enlightenment. Long before other show business celebrities began to use their fame and popularity as a platform from which to campaign for social and political causes, Harry Belafonte stood along side of Martin Luther King and other heroic leaders in the civil rights movement in the United States, and spoke out loudly, consistently and very articulately against social and civil injustices in the other parts of the world, as well.

An Entertaining Education

Harry Belafonte is an American hero, and his fascinating life story serves as a compelling lesson about the history of the global struggle for equality and social justice. By using archival footage of Belafonte's performances on stage and in films Filmmaker Susanne Rostock very effectively orchestrates Belafonte's dual successes as an entertainer and as a civil rights leader with a great mix of archival footage of Belafonte performing on stage and in a range of easily recognized films with a collection of news reports and other archival footage that shows his persistent participation in the ongoing struggle for racial equality and civil rights in the United States.

The film tracks Belafonte's career as an entertainer from its beginning to his attainment of stardom. As a performer, he's done it all -- and brilliantly. And, throughout the film, we see incidents in which Belafonte experiences harrowing racial prejudice in his personal and professional life. He his behavior sets standards for civil disobedience. It's quite clear that his fight for equality is a personal one, but he sees his mission as greater than his own comfort and success. His quest is for universal justice.

Best of all, the film is a compilation of interviews in which Belafonte expresses his point of view and tells of his experiences in his own words. It's a pleasure and privilege to hear them, thanks to this fine documentary.

Again, Harry Belafonte is a real hero, and an inspiration, and it is wonderful to see this tribute to him.

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Film Details

  • Title: Sing Your Song
  • Director: Susanne Rostock
  • Running Time: 105 mins.
  • US Theatrical Premiere Date: January 13, 2011 (limited New York and Los Angeles)
  • Parental Advisory: Content advisory for parents
  • Location: Los Angeles, New York and other locations across the USA
  • Language: English
  • Production Country: USA
  • Theatrical Distribution Company: HBO Documentary Films
  • Official Website
  • Trailer

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